Whitney Museum Cancels Exhibition After Criticism Mounts Online

  • August 26, 2020 11:59

  • Email
Whitney Museum of American Art
Wikipedia

The Whitney Museum of American Art canceled the upcoming exhibition “Collective Actions: Artist Interventions in a Time of Change” after protests over the mode of acquisition of works to be shown.

Scheduled to open on Sept. 17, the exhibit was to showcase prints, photographs, posters, and digital files created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement. The acquired works were being sold to fundraise for causes related to the coronavirus crisis and systemic racism. Critics on social media deemed the Whitney's acquistions as "exploitive" since many works were bought at discounted prices; the art was priced to be accessible to the public in the fundraising efforts.

Some acquisitions came from See in Black, a collective featuring photographs by Black artists. The group posted a statement on Twitter saying the Whitney exhibition constituted “unauthorized use of the works to which the artists do not consent and for which the artists were not compensated.”

Whitney curator Farris Wahbeh released a statement. “We apologize for the anger and frustration the exhibition has caused and have made the decision not to proceed with the show,” Wahbeh said. “The works in the exhibition were collected as part of the Whitney’s Special Collections, an area that houses artists books, zines, posters, prints, and objects that document how artists distribute published materials as a form of practice, both physically and on-line, and are collected as the materials are launched and circulated.

My sincere hope in collecting them was to build on a historical record of how artists directly engage the important issues of their time. Going forward, we will study and consider further how we can better collect and exhibit artworks and related material that are made and distributed through these channels. I understand how projects in the past several months have a special resonance and I sincerely want to extend my apologies for any pain that the exhibition has caused.”

Read more at Vulture


  • Email

More News Feed Headlines

Ai Weiwei at the Berengo studio in Venice, next to his glass sculpture Blossom Chandelier.  Photo by Karolina Sobel.

U.S. Premiere of 'Glasstress' Showcases The Work of Leading International Artists in Collaboration With Venetian Glass Masters

  • ArtfixDaily / January 26th, 2021

Some of the world's leading contemporary artists have been invited to breathe new life into centuries-old glassmaking ...

Read More...
Thomas Moran.  A Snowy Mountain Range (Path of Souls, Idaho), 1896.  Oil on canvas, 14 x 27 in.  Denver Art Museum: Roath Collection, 2013.109

'Rethinking the Boundaries of Western American Art' Virtual Program Accompanies 'Creating the American West in Art' Exhibition at The Frist Art Museum

  • ArtfixDaily / January 26th, 2021

The Frist Art Museum presents Creating the American West in Art, an exhibition of nearly 80 paintings and sculptures ...

Read More...
Reginald Neal (American, 1909 – 1992 ) Eight of a Maze - Blue and White , 1965, Lithograph and Plexiglas construction, 21 1/2 x 29 1/2 in.  Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Museum purchase with funds from the Beaux Arts Society Fund for Acquisitions and the Pauline Morrison Ledbetter Collections Endowment , 2016.061 © Estate of Reginald Neal

'Moving Vision' Exhibition of Op and Kinetic Art To Feature Doctors, Scientists in Virtual Programs

  • ArtfixDaily / January 25th, 2021

A new exhibition opening at Oklahoma City Museum of Art on Feb. 20, “Moving Vision: Op and Kinetic Art from the ...

Read More...
"All Is Possible" sterling silver cuff with star.  From the collection of Suijin Li Snyder.  Photo by Jason Dowdle.

Take A Virtual Tour Of 'All Is Possible,' First Retrospective of Pioneering Jewelry Designer Mary Ann Scherr

  • ArtfixDaily / January 25th, 2021

Gregg Museum of Art & Design at North Carolina State University presented All is Possible: Mary Ann Scherr’s ...

Read More...

ARTFIXdaily Artwire